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2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 7,500 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 13 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Vegan Friendly Hot Cocoa

Living in a place where it can snow 9 months out of the year (so far, I have seen snow in ever month except June, July, and August) that worships being outdoors when the rest of the country is saying that it’s just too freaking cold, I drink a lot of hot cocoa.  But the really, really good stuff is loaded with milk and cream, and the packets don’t really fit well into that whole cleaning thing.  While I’m far from ever going full vegan, I do try to limit my dairy, especially milk.    So here’s my favorite non-dairy hot cocoa.  It’s so rich and creamy that you’ll never know that it’s vegan friendly as well.

Dairy-Free Hot CocoaFive-Spice-Hot-Chocolate--Recipe-Chow-47429-99552.card

makes 4 servings

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 4 cups  unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Mix sugar, cocoa, salt and water in saucepan over medium heat.  Stir well and bring to an easy boil while stirring continuously.  Simmer for about 2 minutes making sure it doesn’t scorch.

2. Add almond milk and heat until hot, but not boiling.  Remove heat and add vanilla.  Divide between 4 mugs and enjoy!

Foodie Pen Pals for Sandy Relief

Over the past few months, I’ve participated in the foodie pen pal program through the Lean Green Bean.  This month, instead of spending money to buy food items to send to our pen pals, she has asked that we donate that money to Hurricane Sandy relief.  If you’d like to get involved, click on the button below.

The Lean Green Bean

November Foodie Penpal Reveal

The past few months, I’ve been participating in the Foodie Pen Pal program organized by Lindsay at the Lean Green Bean.  After a few months of ending up empty-handed, I was really excited to come home one day and find a package from Sarah full of goodies from her home state of Colorado.

Stuffed full of goodies

Stuffed full of goodies

I had a great time unpacking the box to discover all the goodies she’d sent me.

Nov Foodie Penpal

In the box, I found a bag of  Archer Farms Pecan Sticky Bun Granola from Target, Korma Curry Powder, Corn Chips with flax-seed from one of the local health food stores, almond butter, Celestial Seasonings Fruit Tea Sampler, a peach Greek yogurt granola bar, Ghirardelli hot cocoa and peppermint stir sticks, white chocolate chai, a seasoning packet, and some homemade spiced nuts (eaten before I could snap a pic).  The granola, hot cocoa, curry and almond butter are some of her favorite things that she wanted to share.  The spice mix is from a spice shop one of her coworkers owns (and really good on potatoes!!!).  The stirrers are made in Denver. They went so good with the hot cocoa mix!!  The chai was from her favorite chai place.  It was the perfect treat one chilly night while sitting by the fireplace.  The tea is made in Boulder.  I love Celestial Seasonings tea!!  I always throw a bag or two in my med kit for nights I have to work hockey and need something hot to drink.  The fruit sampler is one of my favorites.  I haven’t had a chance to try the curry yet, but everything else was so yummy.  Most of the box has disappeared already.  Thanks Sarah for all the wonderful treats!!

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Enjoying the hot chocolate and peppermint stirrer

This month I sent my package to Lyndi at The Journey.  Click here to see what all I sent her way. If you’re interested in being a foodie pen pal, click on the link on my homepage.  Instead of sending food gifts to each other this month, Lindsay is asking the pen pals to donate the money they would normally spend on their food gifts to those affected by Hurricane Sandy. If you’d like to donate, click here for more information.

 

December Goals

December goals

Well my biggest goal for December is not to fail as miserably on my goals as I did the last month.  So in no particular order, here are my goals for December.

1.  Become an ultra-marathoner – One of my friends somehow talked me into running the Huff 50k with her at the end of December.  A few years ago, if you told me I was going to try running an ultra someday, I would have laughed in your face.  But the whole, “It’s only 5 miles longer than a marathon,” argument won out.  Well, that and homemade turtle candies at the aid stations.  As a little extra incentive, I ordered this shirt from INKnBURN as a gift to myself when I finish.

ultragirl_f

2. Get a Christmas Tree up this year… before Christmas –  We didn’t have a tree last year.  Or any decorations to really speak of.  I didn’t even send out Christmas cards.  I was a complete Scrooge. Normally, I love the holidays.  But that whole separating from my ex and asking for a divorce a few weeks before Christmas really put a damper on things.  The only thing that’s been in my way this year as for getting into the Christmas spirit is the 50 degree temps we’re having in December.  Not that I mind, but it makes it hard to think about Christmas in a state where white Christmases are the norm.

3.  Eat clean between now and Christmas – I know that eating well over Christmas will be pretty much a wash, but that doesn’t mean I can’t behave the rest of the month.  Watch for some holiday inspired recipe makeovers.  I’m a huge fan of holiday baking.  It’s something that my daughter and I have done together since she was able to work a spoon.  We’ll be keeping our cookie tradition going again this year.

What are your goals to finish off 2012 strong?

How I did on my November Goals – November blogging challenge #29

In a nutshell – I bombed big time this month. I did good on one and okay-ish on another, but the other 3 I failed at miserably.  On the plus side, I can’t do any worse on my December goals, right?  Here’s a breakdown of how I did…

1. Be diligent about tracking my food and get back into the clean eating routine –  I think I did this all of 4 or 5 days this month.  Thanksgiving got the best of me.  You’d understand if you’d ever had my mom’s pie.  I really do need to get on track though.  Or I’ll be asking Santa for bigger jeans :-/

2.  Training for my upcoming ultramarathon – I actually did okay-ish here.  While I would have loved to have gotten a few more miles under my belt, I did get a couple of decent early morning trail runs in and doubled up with a 2nd decent run.  I’ve still got a few weeks left to log quality some miles as long as the weather holds up.  I’m feeling pretty confident that I’ll at least be able to finish.  There will be homemade turtles at the aid stations to motivate my butt to keep going.

3. Sell, Sell, SELL!!!!! – This is the one I can actually say I did good on!!  I picked up a few new clients at the Y and hit my sales goal for the 2nd month in a row.  I’m starting to pick up clients at the other gym.  Things are looking good, if not insanely crazy on the job front.  Now to figure out a way to add a few more hours in the day so I can get it all done!!

4.  Find a man –  Yeah, I failed big time on this one.  And I don’t have an active online dating account anymore to help me out in that department.  But I had this amazing idea that would not only help me find a partner in crime, but all the lonely runners out there.  More details on that to be posted soon.

5.  Actually stay on top of a blogging challenge – Epic fail #3 for the month.  I’m going to make it my New Year’s Resolution…. in 2016….

3 Exercises Everyone Should Do – November Blogging Challenge #28

When I interviewed for my personal training job at the YMCA, one of the questions I was asked was “What are your 3 favorite exercises for clients and why?”  The first 3 exercises to pop out of my mouth – Squats, Push ups, and Planks.  So why were these three the first to pop into my head? They all use multiple muscle groups giving a great full body workout without much equipment needed, there are a million different variations to switch things up to avoid boredom and add a little muscle confusion into the mix, and most importantly, they can be modified so that almost everyone can do them.  My answer must have been a good one since I walked out of the interview with a job offer.  So what makes each of these exercises so special? Read the rest of this page »